On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!
ZZ Top – Gimme All Your Lovin’ (1983)
We’re heading back to the US, dear reader, and find ourselves in Texas. Formed in 1969 ZZ Top had a prosperous career already in the 1970s but took a break later in the decade due to physical and creative exhaustion. When we join them in 1983 ZZ Top have been experimenting and evolving their blues rock of the early days, now incorporating the synth music of the 1980s and growing their audience in the process. Their eighth album – Eliminator – is our focus today and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the song – Gimme All Your Lovin’.
Gimme All Your Lovin’ is a pretty standard love song with ZZ Top taking on the role of a narrator who has clearly met someone special and is begging for a chance to be with them. This isn’t a brief fling that the narrator is looking for though, they want everything. The chorus uses the song’s title and here the narrator wants this individual to reciprocate with all of their love and emotion, the whole works, all at once. Strangely, the song seems to suggest the possibility of the relationship potentially ending, such is life, so the best thing the couple can do is give this union their all now and have no regrets later.
ZZ Top are notable for their hats, sunglasses and long beards but they have always been good at rocking a good tune as well. Gimme All Your Lovin’ represents the zenith of their career, eclipsing even the success they had had in the 1970s. ZZ Top even crept their way into the UK Top 10, completing the crossing of the Atlantic and gaining more European recognition in the process. At present, they are said to be working on their sixteenth album and show no signs of letting up.
Favourite songs so far:
The Animals – House of the Rising Sun (1964)
Simon & Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence (1965)
The Doors – The End (1967)
The Beatles – A Day in the Life (1967)
Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)
Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell (1977)
Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now (1978)
The Police – Message in a Bottle (1979)
Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart (1980)
Ultravox – Vienna (1980)